Friday Dec 02, 2022

First Solar’s Investment Thanks To Inflation Reduction Act. Can China Derail It? – Forbes


First Solar, America’s premier solar manufacturer, said it will invest over a billion dollars thanks … [+] to the Inflation Reductio Act. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Getty Images for NASCAR

There are not too many American solar manufacturers out there. China owns this market. In the U.S., First SolarFSLR
is as big as they come. Their announcement on Tuesday of a $1.2 billion expansion plan comes on the heels of the Inflation Reduction Act (WSJ rightfully called it the Climate Law), signed into law by President Biden earlier this month. It will make them even bigger. Their stock price is way overbought because of all this good news for the Ohio-based, innovative solar panel maker.

At least one other company read the tea leaves in Washington, thinking the solar incentives in that bill would eventually become law following a knee-capping of solar manufacturers here when the White House cut tariffs on Chinese solar companies in February. Korean-owned Hanwha Q Cells announced a $320 million investment plan in May.

First Solar is the second biggest player. Hanwha is the largest of the global players in the U.S. Both of them constitute the only two non-Chinese solar companies in the top 10 of global solar manufacturers. Green energy-loving Europe is non-existent in the top 10.

For retail investors still learning the investor game, anytime a stock is tracking far above its … [+] Relative Strength Index means the stock is overbought and ready for a correction. Such is the case with First Solar. Be aware.


First Solar and Hanwha: Trying to Reshore Renewable Energy

First Solar and Hanhwa’s investments this year are an attempt to build out American solar, which is almost entirely reliant on China supply.

For a country where at least one of the two biggest political parties wants to move to a post-fossil fuels economy, going from relative independence on oil and gas to dependence on Chinese-made solar would be an unforgivable policy error of historic proportions.

If the U.S. is going to go green, companies here have to be able to expand their footprint across the entire supply chain.

Cheap solar panels imported from China led to a boom in installations between 2010 and 2017. U.S. … [+] companies needed trade remedies to stay alive. They came a year later under the Trump government. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

First Solar’s investments will be in solar modules, also known as solar panels. The investment is forecast to expand the company’s ability to produce modules for the U.S. solar market to over 10 gigawatts by 2025. To do this, First Solar will build its fourth solar panel factory in the U.S. with an annual capacity of 3.5 gigawatts in the Southeast. A location has yet to be determined.

Hanwha Q Cells’ $320 million investment isn’t all for the U.S. Some $170 million will go towards building a 1.4 GW solar panel facility in the U.S. in an unspecified location. Q Cells has a 1.7 GW solar panel factory in Dalton, Georgia. The new …….


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